Your tax dollars NOT at work at Highway Department | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Your tax dollars NOT at work at Highway Department

Posted By on Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 7:06 PM

ANYBODY HOME?: Audit says some Highway Department employees got improper time off with pay, including for personal errands.
  • ANYBODY HOME?: Audit says some Highway Department employees got improper time off with pay on a regular basis, including for personal errands.

Thanks to a tipster for a newly released Legislative Audit report on the Highway and Transportation Department.

In brief: The auditors will refer to the Pulaski prosecuting attorney their finding that employees in the department's legal division, headed by Robert Wilson, have been improperly getting a half-day off, with pay, every three weeks, and an additional two hours paid time off (it's not clear if this is every three weeks or more or less frequently) for doctors appointments and "personal errands." These practices date back to 1989. The auditors did a three-year study in which they found time off justified as comp time for overtime, but no documentation exists to substantiate the overtime.

There's no telling how much paid labor taxpayers where cheated out of by these practices, which run counter to rules on a 40-hour work week. The auditors said they couldn't come up with an estimate of the loss on the two-hour personal time practice or the unsubstantiated comp time found over a three-year period. On the improper half-day-with-pay rule, the report said:

The Chief Legal Counsel of the Agency, Robert L. Wilson, allowed staff of the Agency’s Legal Division to have inappropriate paid absences from work. Employees were improperly allowed to take 4 hours (one-half day) of paid time off every three weeks on a rotating basis. Schedules assigning the one-half day for the period July 1, 2007 through December 31, 2009, and analysis of corresponding leave records and other support, indicated that employees of the Division may have been paid for 2,520 hours for which they did not perform job duties. Based on the employees’ average hourly rates for the period, the estimated cost of this time totals $73,891.

Did the boss know about this? Good question. Wilson reported directly according to the agency organizational chart to the Highway Commission and long-time department director Dan Flowers, who recently retired with a $195,000 annual pension. I'm trying to get a response. Tea Party anyone?

UPDATE: The department's response was limited because the matter remains under investigation. But a spokesman said the issue was self-reported and the practice didn't appear to be department-wide.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (21)

Showing 1-21 of 21

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-21 of 21

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Bipartisan deal to continue subsidies Trump ended. But ...

    Everyone's reporting that Sens. Patty Murray and Lamar Alexander have struck a bipartisan deal on to continue federal subsidies for health coverage that Donald Trump cut off.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • Tuesday: Open line, news roundup

    The open line, plus the day's news roundup.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • James Lee Witt corrects Trump on grade for Puerto Rico relief effort

    Donald Trump twice yesterday used James Lee Witt, Bill Clinton's widely hailed FEMA director and now in the private business of assisting in disasters, as a reference on the work he's done responding to hurricanes this year. Media, particularly on the conservative end, have echoed the Trump remarks.But hold on: Witt wasn't talking about Puerto Rico.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Is Arkansas in or out on Kobach voter data effort?

    The Washington Post has published a map that counts Arkansas as among states that will "partially comply" with a sweeping request for voter data by the so-called election integrity commission set up by Donald Trump in an effort to cast doubt on Hillary Clinton's 3 million-vote popular defeat of him in 2016.
    • Jul 2, 2017
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016

People who saved…

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Tuesday: Open line, news roundup

    • As I remember and I could be misremembering, that the ICE raids usually took place…

    • on October 17, 2017
  • Re: Tuesday: Open line, news roundup

    • OMG--could he be any more insensitive? Trump told soldier's widow 'he knew what he signed…

    • on October 17, 2017
  • Re: The Medicaid charade explained

    • How I Got My Desired Loan Amount From A Reliable Loan Company. My name is…

    • on October 17, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation